BackgroundInterview Date:November 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Middletown, NJ with a graduating class of 83 people. It was public but you had to apply to get in. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Double Major in Economics-Finance and Liberal Studies with a concentration in Earth, Environment and Global Sustainability.
Extracurricular Activities: Student Government Association, Business fraternity, and a dance group.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
Student Government and the business fraternity have had a big impact on my experience. Student Government is important because I have the opportunity to talk to different leaders and directors on campus. We work to try to improve student life. The business fraternity that I’m involved in helps to develop my professional skills and also has a social aspect.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
For my Economics-Finance major, it’s mostly based on two or three exams. For my Finance class, we have one midterm and one final, which is most of the weight, and the rest is based on group projects, participation, and homework. For my Economics class, it’s entirely based on how you do on two midterms, a final, and two quizzes. It differs on the professor, but for the most part, that’s what it’s like for most of the classes.
Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
The Finance department is really strong at Bentley. The level of education that we get is really good. I started taking Principles of Accounting and Finance during my first year. All students have to take two Accounting and Finance classes because of the General Business Core. On top of that, they provide a lot of resources for jobs, networking, and things like that. The Economics department is also pretty good but is not as developed as the Finance department.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
A lot of it is focused on group work. That is something the professors always emphasize. In pretty much every General Business Core class that we take there will be at least one group project. It differs between classes, for example, the Management course that I’m in now is a lot of lectures.
How accessible are your professors?
They’re pretty accessible, but that’s something that our Dean of Arts & Sciences says that he is working to improve. They all hold office hours, so they are accessible in that way, and they can all be reached through email. But, because the school’s academic buildings and residence halls are separated, students and professors [don’t see each other much in passing].
Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I picked Economics-Finance because that was a good choice career-wise. I picked Liberal Studies because I liked it a lot and I wanted to get a liberal arts education in addition to the business courses.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Slade Hall with one roommate
Sophomore: Kresge Hall with 4 roommates in a suite-style dorm. I had one direct roommate.
How was transitioning from your hometown in New Jersey to the Waltham, MA?
It was not a bad transition. I think I expected there to be more of a connection with Boston. Waltham is not far from, but isolated from Boston.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Bentley is one of the safest schools. I’ve never had an issue with safety.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
In A Pickle
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I like to take the shuttle to Harvard Square in Cambridge. It’s free to take the shuttle and there are lots of restaurants and stores there.
Pros and Cons of being in Waltham, MA?
Pros: (1) It’s a true campus, while still being close to Boston.
(2) It’s accessible to Boston but it’s not in a city. There are a lot of places to have internships within a 30-minute radius.
Cons: (1) It’s hard to get around if you don’t have a car.
(2) Waltham itself isn’t the most exciting area.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Bentley?
Mostly I prefer to stay on campus, but when I turn 21 I will go to Boston more. There are a lot of things going on in apartments or suite style places on campus. Those are normally hosted by either random people or fraternities or clubs. There are also frat houses off campus, but we don’t have a fraternity row, they’re scattered across Waltham so people have to drive there and back. Parties at fraternities are more popular among freshmen.
What nights of the week do you go to parties?
Friday, Saturday, and occasionally Thursday.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s not as big of a presence as it is at other schools, but they’re definitely there.
What have been your favorite times at Bentley?
Spring Day when they hire an artist to perform. During that day it’s a bunch of festivities and people start partying in the morning. It’s a whole day event and the whole school gets involved.
How happy are you with the weekend activities at Bentley? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it now because I’m in a business fraternity and there is a big social aspect to that. Sophomore year you’re more so just looking forward to junior year when you turn 21 and you can go out to the bars in Boston.
How did you meet your closest friends?
They lived on my floor first semester freshman year.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
There’s a lot of different groups on campus. A lot of people tend to make their friends and customize their nightlife based on what group they’re a part of or what club or frat they’re part of because that’s their personal group.
How would you describe the student body?
We’re very business minded. There’s a big work hard play hard mentality. Overall, it’s not as diverse as other schools, but there is a big international population. [About 22% of students are international students at Bentley.]
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
There’s a little bit of mixing, but it’s pretty divided and people tend to have their own groups. I think that stems from [people of color] being in different cultural student organizations. Most of my friends are Asian.
How strong is the Asian population on campus?
It’s pretty strong. It’s not huge compared to the rest of the school, which is why it’s strong. But, in general, I think the Asian population does the best job of intermingling with people of different races.
How does the size of Bentley impact the social scene? [There are about 4,200 undergraduate students.]
It has a big impact. Our social scene is different from state schools and tends to be smaller and more lowkey. Once people get older, they give up on the nightlife at Bentley and go out in Boston.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Our alumni network is pretty strong, especially based on the clubs that you’re in. A lot of frats and business frats have connections. Because a lot of alumni work in Boston, I’ve attended a lot of networking events and have met a lot of alumni. When there are career fairs and special nights for Economics-Finance Majors, most of the recruiters will be alumni and you already have a connection with them and know what you’ve learned if they’re your major.
What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
They’ve been pretty helpful. It was recently ranked best in the nation by the Princeton Review. They’re pretty helpful in finding a job and getting an internship. The recourses we have online are also super helpful, we have a platform called BentleyLink.
Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be especially helpful to you professionally?
We use Excel all the time, and PowerPoint and Word all the time. All Finance majors have to be Bloomberg Certified, and that usually happens in one of the first classes.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Bentley before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I had known more about the social aspect because I had no idea about it. I just didn’t know what the dynamic is like. Like, how frats drive you to and from the parties.
What is something a prospective Asian student may want to know that we haven’t touched on yet?
When I visited I realized that it’s predominantly Caucasian, so that’s not much of a surprise. There is a strong Asian community here, and that I didn’t know about before coming here.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Definitely the dining hall. Also, talk to career services about the resources they offer. They offer a lot that you don’t realize when you’re just visiting.
Reasons to attend Bentley:
1) There’s a place for everyone socially even though it’s a small community. There are a lot of social opportunities.
2) It has a really strong program for accounting and finance majors.
Reasons to not attend Bentley:
1) Since Bentley is so focused on Accounting and Finance, they sometimes lack on other majors. I’ve heard complaints from Marketing and Management majors about that.
2) Bentley doesn’t have a lot of school spirit in terms of athletics. If you want to watch sports, it’s not the school to come to.